Mexican IP Office Hopes To Persuade Senate On ACTA

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The Mexican Intellectual Property Office (IMPI) last week announced that the Mexican Ambassador in Japan had signed the much debated Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. Now it thinks it can persuade the country’s new Senate to pass it.

A press release is here [pdf].

As the Mexican Senate was one of the first bodies among the ACTA negotiating member states to take a highly critical stance toward the agreement and in fact resolved that it should not be adopted, the move took many observers by surprise.

Answering questions from Intellectual Property Watch, an IMPI official said that while former senators were sceptical about the agreement, “We expect that the next legislature will be open to debate and discuss ACTA.”

After the negotiation and signature, the next step is ratification by the Senate before enactment and publication.

“For the ratification of ACTA it is not necessary to enact new laws,” IMPI said. “However, for the implementation within our legal system in the field of the protection of intellectual property rights, the Mexican Congress should review and, where appropriate, amend the Industrial Property Law, the Federal Copyright Law, the Customs Law and the Federal Criminal Code, among others.”

The IMPI announcement immediately resulted in a storm of protest. Via Twitter and in Mexican newspaper stories, several outgoing and at least one incoming senator underlined their refusal (for a collection of reactions see here) of the controversial agreement.

IP expert León Felipe Sánchez Ambía said the agency had been able to proceed with the signature because the Anti-ACTA resolutions of the Senate had been non-binding. But a potential 180-degree turnaround would still be difficult for the new Senate.

Doubts arose over ACTA’s prospects among elected officials in Mexico after a resounding defeat in Europe earlier this month.

Organisations that have already started campaigning against ACTA are for example the Mexican ISP Association.

The International Trademark Association on the other hand welcomed and applauded Mexico’s signature.

Monika Ermert may be reached at info@ip-watch.ch.

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